Eric Nilsson, Kristin Jones Win 10-Mile World Championship

Eric Nilsson, Kristin Jones Win 10-Mile World Championship

At the Fifth Annual Kingdom Swim signature race, age proved a valuable asset to climb a top the podium.

Maturity showed and stamina was sustained on both the men’s and women’s side when 20-somethings were able to out-swim some pretty tough and seasoned teenagers.

Post college graduates gradually got the upper hand in the challenging 10-mile world championship course against their younger colleagues.

As if hinting at the advantage and benefits of elderly wisdom, the victorious swimmers were awarded beautifully hand-carved walking sticks crafted by a renowned local pediatrician, Dr. Bill Peck.

26-year-old Eric Nilsson (Sandy Lincoln, kayaker) took home the hand carved Kingdom Swim walking stick and the title of World Open Water Swimming Association’s 10 Mile World Champion.

The Weston, Massachusetts swimmer and former NCAA swimmer from Northeastern University posted a record setting time of 3 hours 38 minutes 36 seconds. His steady 13:32 per kilometer or a 1:21 per 100m pace was powerful as he kept up his stroke rate while fending off a determined challenge by 17-year-old Feodor Orlov of Dublin, Ohio (Rob Geisler, kayaker) who finished in 3:43:51.

Third-place finisher in the 2013 World 10-mile Championships went to 47-year-old Andrew Pulsifer of Ashville, North Carolina (Emily Pulsifer, kayaker) who posted a time of 4:08:56.

Among the women, 23-year-old Kristin Jones (Elizabeth Otto, kayaker) who traveled from Juneau, Alaska claimed the walking stick and world title with a winning time of 4:05:45 (1:24 per 100m pace). Five years her junior, Emma Otto-Moudry, an 18-year-old from Ithaca, New York (Don Houghton, kayaker), finished second in a time of 4:19:99 over Dani Stein of Saratoga Springs, New York (Terry Leahy, kayaker).

Swimmers came from 28 states, two Canadian provinces, and London, England to compete in the Kingdom Swim and the first WOWSA 10-Mile World Championship. Phil White, Director of Kingdom Swim and founding member of the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association, was characteristically grateful to the volunteers who helped make the event a huge success. “Memphremagog is a big lake with highly variable conditions. The course is beautiful and challenging with long stretches without buoys or guides. Navigation is a key part of the race which is why the event lists the kayaker with the swimmer. This year, Memphregagog provided near perfect conditions although the wind picked up at times and the subtle currents were always ready to challenge even the best navigators.”

175 swimmers took part in one of the six races (10 mile, 6 mile, 3 mile, 1 mile, ¼ mile and 100 yards) with ages ranging from 7 to 70. Finish times are posted on the Kingdom Swim website here.

Out on the water, the swimmers were supported by volunteer civilian patrol boats led by Acting Rear Admirals, Bruce and Karen Lippens, as well as the State Police, Newport City Police, Fish and Wildlife, and Border Patrol. Eric Miller of the City of Newport provided the command central with Newport’s mobile unit at the beach.

Major underwriting for Kingdom Swim and the 25 days of running, biking, swimming, and kayaking hosted as part of the Kingdom Summer Games 2013 was a community effort. Major sponsors included Jay Peak Resort and North Country Hospital, in addition to Community Financial Services Group, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, The EastSide Restaurant, Town of Derby, Derby Village Store, and the City of Newport. Andy Cappella of the Newport Department of Parks and Recreation hosted the field at The Gateway Center on Friday evening and Prouty Beach on Friday and Saturday.

The swim raised US$1,850 for North Country’s Patient Care Initiative Fund. The winner of the Cobra Kayak was 71-year-old swimmer Rob Madell of New York City. Mina Elnacash of Cambridge, Massachusetts won a guided swim from Alcatraz to the San Francisco piers. Heather Greene of Garden City Kansas won a slot in Ned Denison’s famed Cork Distance Week Camp in Cork, Ireland. Eric Anderson of Madison, Wisconsin won an entry into the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona organized by former 10-mile Kingdom swimmer Kent Nicholas.

In addition to their walking stick, the winners also walked away with a pound of delicious beef jerky and a half gallon of the most killer maple syrup.

Next up on Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association’s schedule is a 25-mile kayak expedition the length of Lake Memphremagog on July 27th, Lake Seymour Swim and Aquaman Even Up Triathlon on August 3rd as part of Kingdom Triathlon, followed by 7 days of open water swimming over the course of 9 days on August 10 through 18th. The swimming season closes with the Third Annual In Search of Memphre, a 25-mile swim the length of Lake Memphremagog.

For more information, contact Phil White at

Women’s 10-mile Championship Results:

1. Kristin Jones (23) 4:05:46
2. Emma Otto-Moudry (18) 4:19:49
3. Dani Stein (26) 4:28:02
4. Charlotte Brynn (47) 4:33:44
5. Nicole Hirshman (39) 4:46:03
6. Lynn Ascione (46) 4:54:34
7. Denise Brown (53) 4:56:58
8. Genevieve Mackwood (53) 5:00:50
9. Ann von Spiegelfeld (51) 5:08:15
10. Abigail Fairman (36) 5:17:23
11. Christine Moats (44) 5:27:35
12. Laura Kenny (30) 5:34:27
13. Nancy Davidson (48) 5:36:46
14. Janet Manning (49) 5:41:43
15. Elaine Howley (35) 5:42:03
16. Kimberly Plewa (30) 5:48:28
17. Jennifer Dutton (44) 5:54:11
18. Lesley Fanning (44) 5:59:04
19. Susan Kirk (53) 6:06:17
20. Paula Yankauskas (58) 6:17:16
21. Alison Meehan (41) DNF

Men’s 10-mile Championship Results:
1. Eric Nilsson (26) 3:38:36
2. Feodor Orlov (17) 3:43:51
3. Andrew Pulsifer (47) 4:08:57
4. Ken Classen (52) 4:20:38
5. Bill Shipp (53) 4:23:22
6. Rick Alexander (42) 4:24:38
7. Alexander Holdridge (29) 4:28:41
8. Thomas Schwartz (53) 4:33:04
9. Gil Sharon (39) 4:36:41
10. Michael Leake (35) 4:37:53
11. Philip Schoepke (51) 4:46:11
12. barney Heller (59) 4:47:37
13. Kevin Joubert (41) 4:47:45
14. John Royer (30) 4:49:32
15. Gary Labine (51) 5:04:15
16. Steven Shotts (42) 5:04:21
17. Michael Mundy (48) 5:08:03
18. Timothy Root (30) 5:16:08
19. Steve Patton (46) 5:19:44
20. Christopher Stevens (51) 5:26:07
21. Brian McLaughlin (58) 5:28:51
22. Paul Krakovitz (43) 5:33:26
23. Bryce Croll (29) 5:46:26
24. Jim Birmingham (39) 5:52:03
25. Eric Anderson (27) 6:00:04
26. Eric Winn (58) 6:48:06
27. Jeffrey Lime (46) 8:11:23

Photos courtesy of Phil White and Roberta Moudry.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones